Sunday, October 5, 2014

+HIRS+/Water Torture - Split Review

It's been far to long since I've talked about +HIRS+. Certainly not due to the Philly outfits lack of productivity. It seems every week they have another split tape, record, lathe cut, wax cylinder, whatever coming out. Mostly been sticking with bands close to their own home to split with (APE!, Bubonic Bear, Cocaine Breath, etc), but the very highly anticipated split 7" with Buffalo's Water Torture (which I believe was first announced sometime last year), was finally released a couple months ago to the hungry consumers. Very interesting formatting with this split, one that I really haven't seen before. +HIRS+ start this unholy wax disc off with their new anthem "Fuck Everything", entering with chaotic blasts into a power-stomping bass break. They've really become utter masters at writing incredibly captivating short songs, the +HIRS+ way. You can pretty much listen to any single track on this record and totally understand what this band is trying to do. It just shows that tremendous effort and engineering went into making these songs, at least to me. Since the Bubonic Bear split, +HIRS+ have just sounded incredible, and this records no different. Loud, punching drums, more thunderous bass, layers of intense vocals, it's an excellent display of sound. +HIRS+ give a five song assault before slithering into Water Torture's contribution, in a segue that had me tweaked out for a few seconds. I was curious to see what WT would be toying around with on here, and in a very interesting move they've done a throwback to the raw, micro song template from the split with thedowngoing. Distant, rumbling static looms and transitions these songs, again very raw and basement-noisecore sounding. It's a style that's I find very interesting and sometimes astounding if it's done well, but Water Torture's take on it this time falls just a little bit short. All of these nine tracks sound like little cut n' paste remixes of already existing WT songs, trying to combine both of their biggest elements in a mere few seconds. Entering with a slow, tom-hit riff and then a few more seconds of blasting and vocals. Then more noise. Wouldn't be a problem, but basically none of these tracks stick out for any reason besides then being jarringly short. The two tracks that do the best job with this restricted songwriting style, "Not-Seen" and "Populous" are great, but again leave me wanting more. Thankfully not leaving me stranded and craving more noise, +HIRS+ come back again after Water Torture ceases with four more powerful tracks. The chug monster, "A Very Long List Of Men To Kill" acting as a ground-punching wake up. This "B-side" has +HIRS+ showing off some of their slowest passages and best riffs of the whole record. Closing out with the two of the real highlight  tracks, "Amputated Littered Hand" and "Bong Water Torture". A real proper ending if you ask me. It's good to see with bands toying around with stuff even as simple as track placement. This split has had a lot of hold-ups and setbacks in it's conception. Hopefully everyone has got their copies now. If you don't, I believe it's sold out.